Dipanwita Sen writes in both English and Bengali. Her works have been published in the Indian Periodical and in Better than Starbucks. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in English Literature from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, India.
To the Women of Millais’ Mariana
I see you rising from the table.
Your fingers move about your hips,
Kneading the soft flesh taut with centuries of work.
I see you stitching.
The colours of your mind bleeding into your needle,
The needle working the colours onto cloth,
So as grew dreary your mind,
The brighter grew the fabric
And the designs more intricate.
You who await Angelo.
Which Angelo do you wait for, I wonder,
The one that never comes?
Or the one that comes for all?
O nameless Marianas awaiting nameless Angelos,
Who had come for our grandmothers?
Nobody ever compared me to a flower.
I was in China after my husband left for the war,
Left me smiling,
Left without noticing the little quiver trying to pull my lips down.
It rained one day.
I was there, and there was this flower.
Nothing out of the ordinary,
Just like me.
Then, suddenly, I could see through it.
And I wept.
Wept the tears I could not weep
When my husband left with so many husbands, fathers, sons.
With heavier eyes and lighter heart,
I looked at the flower.
Rain had cleared us both.